Olga Gorelli

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Olga Gorelli
Born(1920-06-14)14 June 1920
Died18 February 2006(2006-02-18) (aged 85)
Alma materImmaculata College, the Curtis Institute of Music, Smith College, Yale University School of Music
OccupationComposer, Pianist

Olga Gorelli, (June 14, 1920 Bologna, Italy, died February 18, 2006) was well known for her musical talents as a composer and pianist.[1][2][3]

Olga Gorelli, maiden name Gratch, immigrated to the United States in 1937 with her family and settled in New Jersey. She married a physician, and had two children. She was a resident of Pennington, New Jersey.[4][5][6]

Gorelli began composing as a child in Italy and her first little piano pieces were published in Italy when she was ten years old.[7] She pursued her music studies in the U.S., graduating from Immaculata College, the Curtis Institute of Music, Smith College, and the Yale University School of Music, and pursued graduate work at the Eastman School of Music. Her teachers included Rosario Scalero, Gian Carlo Menotti, Quincy Porter, Paul Hindemith, and Darius Milhaud.[8][9]

Gorelli taught music theory at Hollins College, and piano at Trenton State College. She also taught privately at her home and composed each morning up until the last weeks of her life.

She has written orchestral and choral pieces, many songs for voice with various instruments, a mass, two operas, two dance dramas, and several works for different combinations of strings, brass, and woodwinds.[10][11][12][13][14]


Pedagogical Writings[edit]


  1. ^ Holland, Bernard. "Concert: N.Y.U. Offers New Music", New York Times, June 26, 1983, p.44. "New York University has been offering a series of new-music concerts at the Loeb Center and Thursday installment centered mostly on composers from New Jersey. The evening varied widely in quality and style, ranging from rigorous and ascetic-sounding music for solo clarinet by Ron Mazurek and Eve Beglarian to Rachmaninoff-like Russianisms from Olga Gorelli."
  2. ^ Fruchter, Rena. "Composers to Star in Three-Day Festival", New York Times, June 3, 1990, p.NJ19. "Of the composers whose works will be represented on Friday's program, six are New Jersey residents - Mr. Pollock, Frank Brickle, Olga Gorelli, Phillip Moore, Paul Gallaher and Milton Babbitt."
  3. ^ Fruchter, Rena. "Pageant is Returning with a More 'Joyful' Air", New York Times, December 16, 1990, p.NJ10. "The free program will also feature music by four New Jersey composers - Claudio Spies, Moshe Budmore, Olga Gorelli and Gordon Myers."
  4. ^ Strauss, Elaine. "A Concert to Honor Volunteers for the Homeless", U.S. 1 Newspaper, January 26, 2005. Accessed February 15, 2011. "Olga Gorelli is a Pennington-based composer and leader in New Jersey's musical life; her compositions experiment with both words and music."
  5. ^ Fruchter, Rena. "Sounds of Christmas", New York Times, December 15, 1991, p. NJ15. "The Composers Guild of New Jersey will hold its annual holiday program on Saturday at 4:00 P.M. Called "A Winter Solstice Holiday Benefit Celebrations", will be held at the Pennington home of the composer Olga Gorelli and will feature works for guitar by Ms. Gorelli and by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Milton Babbitt, a Princeton resident."
  6. ^ "Piano Recital to Benefit Roosevelt Bulletin", The Examiner, November 1, 2000. Accessed August 20, 2011. "The program will reprise some of the music from Cervantes' November 3 concert, part of the Smithsonian Institution's "Piano 300" exhibit in Washington, D.C., as well as works of New Jersey composers Olga Gorelli, Laurie Altman and Brad Garton."
  7. ^ Plett, Nicole. "Poems from Nature and Beyond”, U.S. 1 Newspaper, September 23, 1998. Accessed July 5, 2011. "Gorelli, who began composing music as a child in her native Italy, studied in the United States with Gian Carlo Menotti, Paul Hindemith, and Darius Milhaud."
  8. ^ Lowen Finn, Terri. "New Works to be Heard at Free Concert", New York Times, October 21, 1984, p. NJ10. "Miss Gorelii, who lives in Pennington, studied with Darius Milhaud at Tanglewood and Paul Hindemith at Yale."
  9. ^ Fruchter, Rena. "Day for Composers to Be in Spotlight", New York Times, January 8, 1995, p. NJ14. "Ms. Gorelli will speak about her experiences with three influential composers with whom she studied - Paul Hindemith, Gian Carlo Menotti and Darius Milhaud."
  10. ^ Kozinn, Allan. "Flutist's Debut Displays Variety of Styles", New York Times, November 30, 1988, p. C20. "She (Elizabeth Tallman) also brought the picturesque flute writing in Olga Gorelli's "River" suite to life. Ms. Gorelli's work, which was given its world premier, is based on a poem by Ms. Tallman and was a likable addition not only to the flute literature but also to the growing body of abidingly lyrical 12-tone works."
  11. ^ "On the Towns", New York Times, April 6, 1997, p. NJ14. "The Cygnus Ensamble in Works by Joyce Orenstein, Justinian Tamusuza, Rashid Kallimoullin, Olga Gorelli and William Anderson."
  12. ^ Rose, Pete. “In Living Color! Some Music Can Be Brought Alive with the Use of a Broad Palette of Color Fingerings”, American Recorder, March 1996, volume 37, issue 2, p. 12-15. "To provide an accessible example of how color fingerings can be used, I have selected a piece called Longing by Olga Gorelli. It was originally written for flute, but is thoroughly playable on alto recorder."
  13. ^ Broege, Tim. "On the Cutting Edge. Contemporary Legato", American Recorder, January 2008, volume 49, issue 1, p. 24-25. "In the lovely solo piece Longing by the late New Jersey composer Olga Gorelli, the long slurs are phrase indications. On flute, for which the music was originally written, full slurring (complete legato) is effective and quite beautiful."
  14. ^ "Weekend Plus Soundings", The Cranford Chronicle, February 24–26, 1993. Accessed August 20, 2011. "New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra. Sunday, March 7, 3 p.m. United Methodist Church, George Street, New Brunswick. Premier of yet-to-be-titled work by Olga Gorelli."

External links[edit]

  • "Lullaby for Olga" ("Acalanto Para Olga") by Luiz Simas dedicated to late composer and pianist Olga Gorelli. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  • "Women Composers on Classical Discoveries". In Praise of Woman - 2006. March 29, 2006. Longing and Song of the Mermaids by Olga Gorelli. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  • "Women of Note". Princeton Research Forum. Poem, Cuando Viene La Rimavera? scored by Olga Gorelli, performed by Nancy Herl at Westminster Choir College. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  • "Musical Sashimi. An Ondine Repast". Palisades Virtuosi. Saturday, April 1, 2006. Song of the Mermaids by Olga Gorelli. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  • "Jayn Rosenfeld, Chamber Coach. Recordings". Composers Guild of New Jersey, New Jersey Sessions Volume 2. The River by Olga Gorelli. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  • "New Music Festival". New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. January 26, 1998, William Paterson University, New Jersey. Elegy for Martin (for Chimes & Piano) by Olga Gorelli. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  • "2010 Engagements". Doug Miller. July 19 - August 9, 2010. Accessed August 21, 2011. "Recording sessions with Shikantaza for an upcoming collaborative effort with Front Row Seat productions. This collaboration will record selected works by some of the world's notable women composers, poets, and singers, including Olga Gorelli and Sylvia Rexach."
  • "Piano Music by Charles Griffin Performed by Ana Cervantes", Musical America Worldwide, October 31, 2008. Accessed August 21, 2011. "Also on the program are works by C.P.E. Bach, American Laurie Altman, William Byrd, Englishman Stephen McNeff, Chopin, Rodolfo Halffter, Russian-Italian Olga Gorelli, Brahms and Mexican Arturo Marquez."
  • "Sergio Cardenas Curriculum Vitae". Opera Between the Shadow and the Dream by Olga Gorelli. Accessed August 21, 2011.